Short Films by Akosua Adoma Owusu

Short Films by Akosua Adoma Owusu

14 Episodes

Playful, funny, and brilliantly subversive, the films of Akosua Adoma Owusu use her identity as a Ghanaian American as a jumping-off point to explore the nuances of race, sexuality, and nationality in both the United States and Africa. Blurring the boundaries of experimental, narrative, and documentary filmmaking, her stylistically freewheeling shorts—including award-winning works like ME BRONI BA, DREXCIYA, KWAKU ANANSE, and RELUCTANTLY QUEER—address racism, postcolonialism, and white supremacy. The results are bold, often startling statements that open up what Owusu calls a “third cinematic space” between her Ghanaian and American consciousnesses: a realm where she is free to play, explore, and challenge what it means to exist at the intersection of multiple identities.

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Short Films by Akosua Adoma Owusu
  • Akosua Adoma Owusu Interview

    Episode 1

    This interview with director Akosua Adoma Owusu was recorded in 2021.

  • Ajube Kete

    Episode 2

    Directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu • 2005 • Ghana
    Starring Emelia Adwoa Odame

    Filmed in Kumasi, Ghana, AJUBE KETE follows a day in the life of a West African girl as she goes about her daily chores amid a chorus of offscreen ridicule from older voices.

  • Tea 4 Two

    Episode 3

    Directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu • 2006 • United States

    Beautiful Chrissy plays with Miss Mary Mack in a surreal deconstruction of the classic children’s rhyme.

  • Intermittent Delight

    Episode 4

    Directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu • 2007 • United States

    Akosua Adoma Owusu explores the intersection of identity and cultural appropriation in this experimental collage that juxtaposes close-ups of batik textiles, fashion and design from the 1950s and ’60s, images of men weaving and women sewing i...

  • Boyant

    Episode 5

    Directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu • 2008 • United States

    Michael Jordan learns how to swim.

  • Me broni ba

    Episode 6

    Directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu • 2009 • Ghana

    This innovative portrait of hair salons in Kumasi, Ghana, uncovers the meaning behind the Akan term of endearment “me broni ba” (“my white baby”). The tangled legacy of European colonialism in Africa is evoked through images of women practicing hair ...

  • Drexciya

    Episode 7

    Directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu • 2010 • Ghana

    Akosua Adoma Owusu draws on the Afrofuturist legends propagated by the underground Detroit-based band Drexciya—about a mythical underwater subcontinent populated by the unborn children of African women thrown overboard during the Transatlantic slave ...

  • Split Ends, I Feel Wonderful

    Episode 8

    Directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu • 2012 • United States

    Playful yet powerful, Akosua Adoma Owusu’s SPLIT ENDS, I FEEL WONDERFUL focuses on African American women’s hair, spinning found footage of 1970s New York hair salons and hairstyles into a dense collage of gesture and image.

  • Kwaku Ananse

    Episode 9

    Directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu • 2013 • Ghana
    Starring Jojo Abot, Koo Nimo, Grace Omaboe

    Drawing upon the rich mythology of Ghana, this magical short combines semiautobiographical elements with local folklore to tell the story of a young American woman who returns to West Africa for her father’s...

  • Bus Nut

    Episode 10

    Directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu • 2015 • United States

    BUS NUT examines the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, a political and social protest against U.S. racial segregation on the public-transit system of Montgomery, Alabama, and its relationship to an educational video on school-bus safety.

  • Reluctantly Queer

    Episode 11

    Directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu • 2016 • Ghana
    Starring Kwame Edwin Otu

    This epistolary short film invites us into the unsettled life of a young Ghanaian man struggling to reconcile his love for his mother with his queer identity amid the increased tensions incited by Ghana’s anti-LGBT politics. ...

  • On Monday of Last Week

    Episode 12

    Directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu • 2018 • United States
    Starring Chinasa Ogbuagu, Peter Rini, Karyn Parsons

    A story by acclaimed Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie provides the basis for this exploration of race, liberalism, and sexuality centered on an encounter between a Nigerian woman and...

  • Mahogany Too

    Episode 13

    Directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu • 2018 • United States
    Starring Esosa E.

    Inspired by Nollywood’s distinct reimaginings in the form of sequels, MAHOGANY TOO examines and revives Diana Ross’s iconic portrayal of Tracy Chambers in the 1975 cult classic MAHOGANY.

  • Pelourinho: They Don’t Really Care About Us

    Episode 14

    Directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu • 2019 • Germany

    The starting point for this colorful film is a letter from scholar and activist W. E. B. Du Bois to the American embassy in Brazil. The fact that in 1927 it was impossible for African Americans to travel to Brazil reminds us of the inequality still...